Common menu bar links

Eastern High Arctic


Eastern High Arctic


Tanquary Fiord, Ellesmere Island National Park Reserve
Tanquary Fiord,
Ellesmere Island
National Park Reserve

TOP OF THE WORLD

This is as far away as you can get in Canada. Here is a land of desolation and splendour on a grand scale. But it is also a land of intimate, fragile beauty - of delicate arctic poppies vibrating in the breeze, of miniature forests of lichens and heather, of subtle pastel shades and heady aromas.

THE LAND:

Most of this region is desert - a lifeless frozen land. The Ice Age still holds sway over this land, and massive ice caps cloak much of this region. On Ellesmere Island, the ice cap is 2100 metres above sea level and hundreds of metres thick. The rugged peaks of the Innuitian Mountains, among the highest in Canada, pierce the ice. Like hands groping to touch, glaciers extend icy fingers toward fiords reaching inland.

Signing ceremony, Ellesmere Island National Park Reserve
Signing ceremony, Ellesmere
Island National Park Reserve

Along Ellesmere Island's northern coast, ice shelves, permanent aprons of ice held fast to the shore for thousands of years, cover vast areas of the Arctic Ocean.

The climate is "damn" cold. Even in July, the largely ice-covered seas refrigerate the land. The region is dry, receiving about the same precipitation as the Sahara.


National Parks System Plan, 3 rd Edition

Previous Table of contents Next